Vous êtes sur la page 1sur 53

Biology of the Mind Neural and Hormonal Systems

Worth/Palgrave/Macmillan Publishers

Neural Communication
Biological Psychology
branch of psychology concerned with the links between biology and behavior Other titles for biological psychologists include:

behavioral neuroscientists, neuropsychologists, behavior geneticists, physiological psychologists, or biopsychologists

a nerve cell the functioning unit of the nervous system Specialized to receive, integrate, and transmit information.

Neural Communication: Parts of a Neuron

the bushy, branching extensions of a neuron that receive messages and conduct impulses toward the cell body

the extension of a neuron, ending in branching terminal fibers, through which messages are sent to other neurons or to muscles or glands

Myelin [MY-uh-lin] Sheath

a layer of fatty cells segmentally encasing the fibers of many neurons enables vastly greater transmission speed of neutral impulses

Neural Communication: Parts of a Neuron

Soma (cell body)
Contains the nucleus; may be in the middle, along the main line of the neuron(bipolar neuron), or on a branch of a nerve cell (multipolar neuron)

Node of Ranvier
The small constricted part of the neurons myelin sheath that separate the axons along the cells length.

Schwann Cells
Wrap themselves around each segment of myelin sheath covering each axon segment of the nerve cells and constrict at the Nodes of Ranvier. The neurons of the brain and spinal cord do not have such a cell layer covering their myelin sheaths.

Neural Communication: Parts of a Neuron

Terminal Branches
Hair-like ends of axons that transport synaptic vesicles containing neurotransmitters to the terminal buttons where they are secreted into the synaptic gap

Terminal Button
Knob-like structures that release chemicals, i.e., neurotransmitters, into the space between the neurons, i.e., synaptic cleft (synaptic gap).

Neural Communication: Parts of a Neuron

Neural Communication: Identifying Differen Neurons

Bipolar (Interneuron)

Unipolar (Sensory neuron)

Multipolar (Motor neuron)

Pyrimidal Cell

Neural Communication
Action Potential
a neural impulse; a brief electrical charge that travels down an axon generated by the movement of positively charged ions in and out of channels in the axons membrane

the lowest level of stimulation required to trigger a neural impulse

Neural Communication
Neurons vary with respect to their function:
Sensory neurons: (Afferent) Carry signals from the outer parts of
your body (periphery) toward the central nervous system. Motor neurons: (motoneurons) (Efferent) Carry signals away from the central nervous system to the outer parts (muscles, skin, glands) of your body. Receptors: Sense the environment (chemicals, light, sound, touch) and encode this information into electrochemical messages that are transmitted by sensory neurons. Interneurons: (a.k.a. association neuron, connecting neuron) these neurons connect one neuron with another. For example in many reflexes interneurons connect the sensory neurons with the motor neurons

Neural Communication
Action Potential
a neural impulse; a brief electrical charge that travels down an axon generated by the movement of positively charged ions in and out of channels in the axons membrane

the lowest level of stimulation required to trigger a neural impulse

Neural Communication

Cell body end of axon

Direction of neural impulse: toward axon

Neural Communication
Synapse [SIN-aps]
junction between the axon tip of the sending neuron and the dendrite or cell body of the receiving neuron tiny gap at this junction is called the synaptic gap or cleft

chemical messengers that traverse the synaptic gaps between neurons when released by the sending neuron, neurotransmitters travel across the synapse and bind to receptor sites on the receiving neuron, thereby influencing whether it will generate a neural impulse

Neural Communication

Neural Communication

Serotonin Pathways

Dopamine Pathways

Neural Communication

Chemical Messengers in the NS

Neurotransmitters Endorphins Hormones


Neurotransmitters travel from one neuron to another. Changes occur in the receiving neurons membrane, The ultimate effect is either: Excitatory: the probability that the receiving neuron will fire increases Inhibitory: the probability that the receiving neuron will fire decreases


Serotonin Sleep, appetite, sensory perception, temperature regulation, pain suppression, and mood Dopamine Voluntary movement, learning, memory, and emotion Acetylcholine Muscle action, cognitive functioning, memory, and emotion

Norepinephrine Increased heart rate and the slowing of intestinal activity during stress, learning, memory, dreaming, waking from sleep, and emotion GABA (gama-aminobutyic acid) The major inhibitory neurotransmitter in the brain

Neural Communication
Acetylcholine [ah-seat-el-KO-leen]
a neurotransmitter that, among its functions, triggers muscle contraction; when inhibited, paralysis occurs

Endorphins [en-DOR-fins]
Short for endogenous (produced within) morphine natural, opiate-like neurotransmitters linked to pain control and to pleasure

1. They have an effect similar to that of opiates. 2. They reduce pain and promote pleasure. 3. They play a role in appetite, sexual activity, blood pressure, mood, learning, and memory. 4. Some endorphins function as neurotransmitters.


Endorphins Neuromodulators

Most endorphins act as neuromodulators, which alter the effect of neurotransmitters by limiting or prolonging their effects.


How Drugs and Other Chemicals Alter Neurotransmitters

The agonist molecule excites. It mimics the effects of a neurotransmitter on the receiving neuron. Morphine mimics the action of neurotransmitters by stimulating receptors in the brain involved in mood and pain sensation. The antagonist molecule inhibits by blocking the neurotransmitters or by diminishing their release. Botulin poison causes paralysis by blocking receptors for acetylcholine (a neurotransmitter that produces muscle movement)

Neural Communication
Neurotransmitter molecule
Receiving cell membrane

Agonists excite: Morphine mimics the action of endorphins

Receptor site on receiving neuron Agonist mimics neurotransmitter Antagonist blocks neurotransmitter

Antagonists inhibit: Botulin (botox) paralyses muscle

Neurotransmitters & Hormones

Acetylcholine Shortage in acetylcholine may be associated with Alzheimers disease Dopamine The degeneration of brain cells that produce and use another neurotransmitter, dopamine, appears to cause symptoms of Parkinsons disease. Low levels of dopamine may cause ADHD

Neurotransmitters & Hormones

Serotonin Decrease in norepinephrine and serotonin is associated with depression. Elevated levels along with other biochemical and brain abnormalities have been implicated in childhood autism. Norepinephrine Norepinephrine, epinephrine, and adrenaline are associated with excitement and stress.

Neurotransmitters & Hormones

Cortisol Cortisol is associated with stress. Increase in cortisol damages the brain and may be associated with posttraumatic stress. GABA Abnormal GABA levels have between implicated in sleep and eating disorders and in compulsive disorders. Glutamate Glutamate, serotonin, and high levels of dopamine have been associated with schizophrenia


Hormones Insulin Produced by the pancreas Regulates the bodys use of glucose & affects appetite Melatonin Secreted by the pineal gland Helps to regulate daily biological rhythms and promotes sleep.


Sex Hormones Are secreted by the gonads and by the adrenal glands Androgens Masculinizing Hormones Estrogens Feminizing Hormones


Is the brain capable of reorganizing itself if damaged?

When one brain area is damaged, other areas may in time reorganize and take over some of its functions. If neurons are destroyed, nearby neurons may partly compensate for the damage by making new connections that replace the lost ones. Examples: a) How the sense of touch in blind men invades the visual part of the brain. b) How the brain struggles to recover from a minor stroke.

Can damaged neurons in the central nervous system multiply and grow back?

Precursor Cells (Immature Cells)

Precursor cells can give birth to new neurons when immersed in a growth-promotion protein Physical and mental exercise promote the survival and the production of new precursor cells Stress can prohibit the production of new cells Nicotine can kill precursor cells

The Nervous System

Nervous system


Central (brain and spinal cord)

Autonomic (controls self-regulated action of internal organs and glands) Sympathetic (arousing)

Skeletal (controls voluntary movements of skeletal muscles)

Parasympathetic (calming)

Lobes of the Brain Frontal




The Nervous System

Nervous System
The bodys fast and efficient, electrochemical communication system Consists of all the nerve cells of the peripheral and central nervous systems The human brain has approximately 100 billion neurons

The Nervous System: Structural Divisions

Central Nervous System (CNS)
the brain and spinal cord

Peripheral Nervous System (PNS)

the sensory and motor neurons that connect the central nervous system (CNS) to the rest of the body

The Nervous System: Functional Divisions

Voluntary Nervous System (a.k.a. Somatic)
Responsible for the willful control of skeletal muscles and conscious perception Mediates voluntary reflexes

The Nervous System: Functional Divisions

Autonomic Nervous System (ANS)
Responsible for the self-regulating aspects of the bodys nervous network Regulates involuntary smooth muscle movement, heart, glands Comprised of 2 sub-systems: Sympathetic Parasympathetic

The Nervous System: Functional Divisions

Sympathetic Nervous System (SNS)
Causes the fight or flight responses in moments of stress or stimulus Increasing heart rate Saliva flow Perspiration Constriction of blood vessels and pupils Contraction of involuntary smooth muscle Dilating bronchial tubes Excitatory

The Nervous System: Functional Divisions

Parasympathetic Nervous System (PNS)
Responsible for counter-balancing the effects of the SNS Slows heart and respiration rates Dilates blood vessels Relaxes smooth involuntary muscles Responsible for conserving and restoring energy in the body following a sympathetic response to stress Inhibitory

The Nervous System

The Nervous System

Sensory neuron (incoming information) Interneuron

Motor neuron (outgoing information) Muscle Skin receptors Spinal cord

The Endocrine System

Neural and Hormonal Systems

Chemical messengers, mostly those manufactured by the endocrine glands, that travel through the blood stream and affect other tissues (including the brain). Some are chemically identical to neurotransmitters Influences growth, reproduction, metabolism, mood, response to stress, response to exertion, and response to ones own thoughts.

Neural and Hormonal Systems

Adrenal [ah-DREEN-el] Glands
A pair of endocrine glands just above the kidneys Secrete the hormones epinephrine (adrenaline) and norepinephrine (noradrenaline), which help to arouse the body in times of stress Produces corticosteroids (cortisol and aldosterone) that help the body reduce stress Cortisol helps to generate energy; regulates conversion of carbs into glucose; suppresses inflammation Aldosterone regulates mineral and water balance in the body; maintains the balance of sodium and potassium in the blood

This signal that is picked up by each electrode is then amplified, stored and displayed on a monitor. We also measure several other physiological signals in conjunction with the EEG such as the ECG (heart function), respiration (lung function) and EMG (muscle function), as these recordings can influence the EEG. We then analyse the EEG by visual inspection to assist in the diagnosis and prognosis of the newborn. Our analysis usually involves locating abnormal EEG in a recording. The normal EEG appears to be a random signal without any obvious pattern. The EEG becomes abnormal when certain patterns appear in the EEG and it loses the underlying randomness of a normal recording. The normal EEG pattern and several abnormal EEG patterns are shown in this figure .

fMRI saggital view

MRI scan of patient with incipient Alzheimes Disease: Notable neural atrophy of the right hemisphere

P.E.T Scan

Further reading on neonatal EEG can be found in, 1. G.B. Boylan, "Principles of EEG and CFM" in Neonatal Cerebral Investigation, Chapter 2, Eds: J.M. Rennie, Robertson and Hagmann. Cambridge University Press, UK, 2008. 2. G.B. Boylan, J.M. Rennie, and D.M. Murray. "The normal neonatal EEG" in Neonatal Cerebral Investigation, Chapter 6, Eds: J.M. Rennie, N.J. Robertson and C.F. Hagmann. Cambridge University Press, UK, 2008. 3. G.B. Boylan, "Neurophysiology in the Neonatal Period", in Neonatal and Paediatric Clinical Neurophysiology, Eds: R.M. Pressler, C.D. Binnie, R. Cooper and R. Robinson, Churchill Livingstone Elsevier, The Netherlands, 2007